North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection Hardcover – 11 Apr 2008
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"...insights into probably the most secretive country in the world." -- The Times, May 10th, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The 250 reproduced are pretty lackluster in their creativity. This becomes apparent when compared to Soviet Posters (published by Prestel in 2007 and the same size and format) though admittedly they developed over several decades and had the benefit of talent like Lissitzky, Govorkov and Rodchenko to create political masterpieces. With a closed society like North Korea where creativity emanated from the two Kims should anyone expect anything better.
Despite a sameness to many of the images some do stand out. A poster on page 233 is an interesting painting of four horsemen with flags, riding into the future (where else!). As with so many posters shown the groupings are the same: a soldier; woman farmer; steel worker; intellectual. The painting style looks quite contemporary though. On page 251 a diesel engine done in a very graphic style with the side of the unit incorporating bold type, the poster headline is in the same perspective as the engine. There are no dates or artists mentioned in any of the captions and looking through the pages I get the impression that maybe the bulk of the posters were created by a small group of artists and designers.
There is a chapter called Undeterred Defiance, with forty-five works hurling abuse and dire consequences at the US and some of these look several decades old.Read more ›
There are 5 concepts illustrated a)constructing the country b)defying enemies c)loyalty and devotion d)defence and e)loyalty The paintings are quite good and very expressive although rapetative at times.
On page 15 the author states that portraits of the Kims have not been produced,this is incorrect as I was presented with one showing both Kims on a visit to Pyongyang but I no longer have it.
A very annoying feature of the book is that captions to the posters are orinted vertically at the side of the page consequentially the book has to be turned to read them.